Australian Screen

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The Squatter’s Daughter (1933)

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clip The quick way to cut down trees education content clip 1

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Wayne Ridgeway (Dick Fair, credited as Grant Lyndsay) has gone to work for Clive Sherrington (John Warwick), after recuperating from a horse fall at Enderby Station. While setting explosives to fell trees, Ridgeway recognises the man who knocked him off his horse – Morgan, the villain being paid by Clive Sherrington to ruin Joan Enderby. They fight, just as Joan (Jocelyn Howarth) rides into the blasting zone. Ridgeway rides at desperate speed to save her.

Curator’s notes

Ken Hall liked to place romantic sub-plots in front of high action scenes like this. He also loved falling trees (see Tall Timbers made four years later) and burning forests (see clip three). The idea of conquering the land by clearing it connected naturally (at the time) to the idea of a man conquering a woman (and not just in Ken Hall’s films). Both ideas would come in for strong revision later. Feminism challenged the romantic conquest paradigm, just as modern ecological thinking has revised the idea of the benefits of indiscriminate land clearing. In its own way, The Squatter’s Daughter was also challenging old ideas, in the fact that Joan Enderby is shown as a strong and fearless woman, attempting to keep control of Enderby Station.

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